WILKES-BARRE – Why did the team from Wyoming Valley West High School decide to name its big-box grocery store (offering delivery) after teammate Timothy Reams?
It wasn't exactly a wily marketing move. It's because I'm the only boy on the team, Reams, a sophomore, said with a laugh after presenting the business plan to four judges in the hopes of winning scholarships to Wilkes University.
Teams from regional high schools presented business proposals and answered questions from four judges Wednesday during Wilkes University's Entrepreneurial Experience contest.
Each judge had a purely hypothetical $100,000 to invest in any business they liked, and the team reaping the most in investments won.
The prize: four years of $1,000 annual scholarships to Wilkes for each student, should they choose to enroll at Wilkes.
Wyoming Valley West was up first, pitching Reamses Superstore, which specializes in accepting orders online through home computers or a smartphone app, and preparing the orders for pickup or providing delivery. This would allow the actual store to be low-budget, display-wise – more warehouse than retail outlet, Reams said.
The service would help elderly consumers who might be homebound or have difficulty moving around, as well as those people with too little time on their hands such as college students overloaded with assignments, Elizabeth Hoffman added.
The team figured startup costs at $3.5 million, most of it for a building, supplies and stock. Labor costs could be low because the store could run primarily using teenagers and other workers who have yet to acquire more advanced job skills.
The Tunkhannock High School team pitched a new restaurant in its town, arguing it would be financially viable because of the influx of workers in the Marcellus Shale natural gas industry.
Team members envisioned a sports-themed eatery serving food with a Southwestern accent, partly to be different from existing restaurants, but also to cater to the tastes of well-drillers coming from the oil-rich Southwest.
The name of the place: The Red Zone.
But judges favored the color green, investing most heavily in the Pittston Area team's idea: Green Leaf Recycling Inc. The business would focus on a recycling service for schools in Luzerne County, many of which do little routine recycling, they said.
Green Leaf, they said, would be environmentally friendly itself, using sustainable practices.
Team members were Jimmy Musto, Cory Tobin and Matthew Yatison.